~Devere McLennan, GWB drinkin’ buddy
I don’t blame them. I was stationed in Alabama after returning from Vietnam in 1970 and about the only entertainment I could find was getting wasted and going to wrasslin’ on Friday night at The Peanut Center in Dothan. I did get to meet Andre The Giant down at the shopping center. That was cool.
I lived in a large pre-Civil War home in the hills outside Fort Rucker with a varying number of returning vets and girlfriends. Ahhh…good times. I won’t mention the name of the town as I believe Charlie the Town Cop still has a warrant for me. He often stopped by while we sat on the porch to show us the stack of warrants he had prepared for us “if he needed them”. He never used them, but he could have at any given time and hauled our asses in for a variety of reasons.
None of our grandparents were Prescott Bush you see.
“George had one story he told a lot, and the story was about how he was always getting picked up by the police in New Haven during his time at Yale, and how they would always let him go when they found out his grandfather was Prescott Bush. When he told this story, George would always laugh as if it was the funniest joke.
~Murphy Archibald, co-campaign worker in Alabama.
We kept our noses as clean as possible and Charlie the Cop left us alone. It was a nice old house; 6 bedrooms (each with a fireplace), high vaulted ceilings with chandeliers ,antique furniture and art from the 1800’s. We took great care in protecting this house and the contents.We respected the local family that had rented it to us. The rent was $65 per month for the entire house, totally furnished including linens and tableware.
But in Montgomery in 1972, in the home of an elderly lady that was confined to a nursing home a young tenant was behaving badly…
…the house, “was a total wreck.” A chandelier was badly damaged, there were holes in the wall and the place was full of empty liquor bottles. “The cleaning bill alone was $900, which was no small thing in 1972.”
“The bedding had to be hauled out into the street,” says Jackson Stell, a friend of Pryor Smith (nephew of the landlord). “Pryor said there must have been no sheets on the bed, the mattress was so horribly soiled.”
The tenant was none other than our fearless leader, W.
The homeowners sent 2 repair bills to young W. They were ignored.
I guess he must have been away at a National Guard meeting.
(although none of his co-workers recall that he ever mention the National Guard.)
They do recall this however…
Many of those who came into close contact with Bush say he liked to drink beer and Jim Beam whiskey, and to eat fist-fulls of peanuts, and Executive burgers, at the Cloverdale Grill. They also say he liked to sneak out back for a joint of marijuana or into the head for a line of cocaine.
OMG, Bush started using cocaine in Alabama? No, some say he brought the habit with him from Texas…
Now-prominent, established Texas figures in the military, arts, business and political worlds, some of them Republicans and Bush supporters, talk about Bush’s alleged use of marijuana and cocaine based on what they say they have heard from trusted friends. One middle-aged woman whose general veracity could be confirmed told me that she met Bush in 1968 at Hemisfair 68, a fair in San Antonio, at which he tried to pick her up and offered her a white powder he was inhaling. She was then a teenager; Bush would have just graduated from Yale and have been starting the National Guard then. “He was getting really aggressive with me,” she said. “I told him I’d call a policeman, and he laughed, and asked who would believe me.”
I remember 1968, it was the year I was drafted. Bummer. I
hoped worried that the Army would discover that I had experimented with certain substances and would give me the boot. Instead they gave me 2 boots and sent me to boot camp. It seems the military didn’t require drug screens for flight personnel until 1972.
In 1971 Bush took his annual physical exam in May. It’s reasonable to conclude that he would also take his 1972 physical in the same month. Yet according to official Guard documents, Bush “cleared the base” on May 15 without doing so. Fellow Guard members uniformly agree that Bush should and could have easily taken the exam with unit doctors at Ellington Air Force Base before leaving town.
(From the Killian memos…On May 4, 1972, Bush was ordered to report for his physical by May 14–one day before he took off.)
Yep, he took off. Quite to the surprise of his friends because W. had never mentioned he was going to Alabama. Folks were just as surprised in ‘bama when he showed up.
But the timing of Bush’s decision to leave and his departure–about the same time that he failed to take a mandatory annual physical exam–indicate that the two may have been related.
Campaign staff members say they knew nothing of Bush’s interest in participating until days before he arrived in Montgomery. Indeed, not one of numerous Bush friends from those days even recalls Bush talking about going to Alabama at any point before he took off.
His NG unit was surprised also when he didn’t show up…ever
Recalls Memphian Mintz, now 62: “I remember that I heard someone was coming to drill with us from Texas. And it was implied that it was somebody with political influence. I was a young bachelor then. I was looking for somebody to prowl around with.” But, says Mintz, that “somebody” — better known to the world now as the president of the United States — never showed up at Dannelly in 1972. Nor in 1973, nor at any time that Mintz, a FedEx pilot now and an Eastern Airlines pilot then, when he was a reserve first lieutenant at Dannelly, can remember.
“And I was looking for him,”
W. must have been really busy with his campaign work in Alabama…
Bush regularly didn’t show until noon or later, and then would leave four or five hours after that. He’d spend most of those few hours in his office with the door closed. When he did talk to the staff – and he made the rounds each day as soon as he came in before he locked himself away – his conversation was often disconcerting. “I found it so strange that in that position – in a United States Senate campaign – this guy who was twenty-six years old would come in and good-naturedly talk about how plastered he had gotten the night before. It was usually in the context of saying, ‘I’m sorry to be coming in so late, but last night I really knocked them back.’ He was very comfortable about talking about how drunk he got.”
By late September it became obvious that Bush was performing his job so badly that changes had to be made.
Geez Louise, he can’t fly a plane (failed 2 attempts to land a simulator), gets shit canned at his campaign job, trashes some feeble old lady’s apartment in a drug fueled alcohol binge and becomes President and Commander in Chief of the most powerful nation on earth.
Charlie The Cop would have busted this dipstick in an Alabama Heartbeat.